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Dubai-backed Virgin Hyperloop One to aid America's high-speed network

The tech firm, in which DP World is majority investor, is working with the US transport department on hyperloop for America

Dubai's DP World is Virgin Hyperloop One's largest investor.
© Virgin Hyperloop One
Dubai's DP World is Virgin Hyperloop One's largest investor.

Hyperloop travel may soon become a reality in America after the US Secretary for Transport, Elaine Chao, announced the formation of a council to explore the prospect of commercialising the ultra-high speed transport technology in the country whilst speaking at an event in Austin, Texas.

According to a statement by California-based Virgin Hyperloop One, the newly formed Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council will explore the regulation and approvals required to deploy hyperloop in the US.

Virgin Hyperloop One, which is chaired by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer at DP World, said it has been working with Chao and the US's Department of Transport (DOT) “for months” to commercialise the technology in the US.

“This council is the culmination of months of work at the federal, state, and local level,” the group added.

DP World is the largest investor in Virgin Hyperloop One.

The American government council will hold its first planning meeting this month, which will be chaired by deputy secretary of DOT, Jeffrey Rosen, and vice chaired by Undersecretary of Transportation for Policy, Derek Kan. Other seats will be occupied by modal administrators and other high-ranking DOT officials.

READ: UK transport secretary praises work on world's first hyperloop in UAE

“We want to be the company that spearheads the next giant leap forward in transportation here in the US, but we know we can’t do it alone", said Jay Walder, chief executive officer at Virgin Hyperloop One. “We applaud DOT for its support of this technology.”

The GCC is running ahead of the US when it comes to commercialising hyperloop technology, which uses electromagnetic propulsion to accelerate trains through a low-pressure tube.

The UAE plans to build the world’s first commercial hyperloop system in Abu Dhabi, with construction set to start on Hyperloop Transportation Technologies’ planned network in Q3 2019. The project is now past the feasibility stage, according to an announcement by the Bibop Gresta-led firm in January 2019.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019